Friday, December 31, 2010

Months disappeared...Where? and What?

I’ve wanted to post, for some weeks, but other things kept happening!!! Then a dear friend posted a comment, hoping I was okay, so I knew I just had to sit down and get it done!!

So where do I start?
My new job – as a school chaplain, started off and went very well. By the end of the term I knew over half the students by name and started to place sibling groups together. Coming into my office for “teddy hugs” has been a huge hit.

I also made some cushions for the office, using a very colourful cardigan someone had knitted, which I bought at a second-hand shop. It wasn’t complete – just the back and two front side panels, which had been joined, but no sleeves or anything else. I unpicked it, and made cushions with them. The photo’s show the outcome.

Just before I started the job I managed to get some DJ blocks made for someone I’ve been swapping with for a while. I made great progress then they came to a halt.

I made progress in getting 3 mug pouches sewn up for my giveaway, commenced the embroidery work after completing the colouring-in on the stitcheries, then they came to a halt.

Everything changed as my hours and days changed with working and affected my creative/sewing times. Plus I was feeling quite tied.

On top of all that, my sister-in-law was getting married and asked my daughter to be a flower-girl, along with her cousins. So making a flower-girls dress became priority one, in what little time I had. I really enjoyed making this dress, it's been a few years since I last did some dress making, which was also for a wedding. Back in my teens I used to make most of my clothes.

From this:-

To this:-

Along came Christmas, with family coming here. When we have Christmas here in our home, it’s become our tradition to make a ginger-bread house. So this is our 2010 Gingerbread house!!

Our son now has his "L" driver’s license . . . some of you know me as calm, quiet and easy-going. Well, we may have to now add, “she’ll go grey very quickly!!!”

Then yesterday morning…….my daughter had gone into the kitchen, when she called out “Mum!” I said “What?” (Hubby and I were lying in bed relaxing and talking.)
“Mum, there’s a snake in the kitchen!!” (Action… jumping out of bed, unbelief that it could be so….)
There it was right in front of the kitchen stove. Hubby raced out for a shovel, while we kept watch, as it turned and slithered back across in from of the cupboards and sink.

My husband has said “it ‘naturally’ died of ‘natural’ causes!!!” It was a 3ft “tiger snake”. Some interesting stats: one person a year dies from snake bite in Australia. 60% of people die from a “tiger snake” bite.

We can only guess it came through the front door, when the flywire door wasn’t properly closed. Don’t try and think about it being in the house for the day and night, without us knowing!!!

So I’m happy to say we are all safe and well and I’m hoping for some creative times in coming weeks. I’m suffering badly from “withdrawal symptoms”!!

Friday, September 10, 2010

More denim and more things

You have probably seen those adverts that want to sell you something, then they say “but wait there’s more!”

I’m going to tease you and do that right now.

Firstly, you need to see the view from my sewing room window at the moment. Isn’t it beautiful?

Secondly, I mentioned the “ah huh” moment I had after notification of the position as school chaplain, how I still having left over denim to use up and that I could make a journal cover. Well here it is. Can you see the “splotch of paint” on the denim? which is the reason these denim jeans were no longer wanted.

Well you can’t see it in the finished product!!!

Thirdly, I had a swap with Cyndi from blue bird swing, after she made a lovely comment on Sue’s blog "The House That Love Built" when I made and sent Sue a crocheted hat pincushion. I offered to make Cyndi one, so she offered to make something as a swap. I had wanted to make the wallet tutorial she had, and so she made it for me using denim fabric. Here is the gorgeous parcel.

But here are the special contents!!

Fourthly, I had contact from the editor of HOMESPUN after seeing the mug pouches I’d made. I was asked if I’d like to submit a “Readers Letter” sharing why I made the mug pouches, any changes I made and so forth, after using the pattern from their magazine. That was a real surprise!!!

Finally, the winner is…………

But wait there’s more………….

I decided, because I can, that I would make an extra couple of mug pouches. I knew it would be sad, when so may entered the giveaway, that I couldn’t make one for everyone.

So I decided I would choose -

Number 1 – Jeannette , because number 'ones' don’t come up often in random number generator’s, also because Jeannette has just started a new position in a school situation, in New Zealand. A similar story to me!!

Here are the next two winners, by a random number generator:

Number 92, which is Darlis, one of my anonymous entries. So Darlis, I need you to email me your email address. If I don’t hear from Darlis, by Monday Sept 13th, I’ll draw another number.


Number 18 which is Marianne. I shall be emailing you shortly.

I had 154 entries into my excel document, accounting for those that in one comment were a follower, or blogged etc. Thank you all so much for entering and for the increase in followers.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

“Thank You, Sarah Tobias”

Blackbird Designs released a x-stitch book in 2008, titled “Thank you, Sarah Tobias”.

I found out about it from Kaaren, as she told me of the gorgeous needle case in it. So I was able to get my own copy, and indeed, it was just beautiful and I had to “have it”!! Kaaren completed hers last year.

I was able to obtain the Crescent Colour threads at Janine’s shop, Colours Downunder, that I spoke about here. Then commenced the x-stitching, enjoying any and every moment. I bought the most gorgeous “olde world” rose type fabric, done on a black background.

I also found in a second-hand shop a beautiful piece of rich gold heavy lace (for $1), and knew it would look just right with the rose fabric.

This is the completed x-stitch, folded to form pockets and bound. The felt is sewn on the bottom on the inside. The black and gold button, just made for it!!

My finished version of “Flowers for Sarah Needle Case”!!

Monday, September 6, 2010

"Giveaway" Housekeeping

Thank you so much, to so many wonderful ladies, who have entered into the giveaway. There is still time to enter, as the draw will be on Friday, September 10th.

I sincerely thank you for your thoughts and well wishes on the new position as a School Chaplain. I will slowly get to visit each of you.

It's interesting, one of the comments made by the school principal at the interview, that they required of a chaplain, is that the office is warm, inviting and welcoming - to put the kids at ease.

I've put some thought to this. I've decided I'll take two crocheted blankets I have, one made by my Nanna, who is now 96 years old, one I made when I was 14 years old. I have a framed stitchery that reads "If friends were flowers, I'd pick you." I'm thinking of having a few soft toys they can cuddle or just hold, to do something with their hands. What ideas can you think of?


Just some housekeeping. I now know how sad it feels when Anonymous comments come in and I can’t reply back. So could Cheryl Camp, Darlene N, Darlis, two different Denises, Dot (I have two close Dot friends, so can’t tell if they are playing a friendly trick on me!!!) and Stephanie – please email me your email address. I can then respond back to you.

By the way, through my giveaway I have had Pilar from cenefas de flores, visit from Spain and she is having a giveaway that you’re welcome to enter.

Thursday, September 2, 2010

"Mug Pouch" GIVEAWAY

I decided I would have a giveaway, a first for me!! to celebrate the School Chaplain position, that I posted about earlier.

Therefore . . . . I'll make one of the mug pouches, I blogged about previously.


1. Leave a comment on this post

2. I'd love for you to become a "follower" of my blog. Leave a second comment if you do.

3. If you want to blog about this giveaway on your blog. Leave a third comment if you do.

I'll draw the winner on Friday, September 10th. I'll then be in contact, to find out your favourite drink, ie tea, coffee, chocolate ......, your favourite colour/colours, and favourite flower!!

Now I know you'll all want one, I'd love to be able to do that!!! I'm one of those very unsuccessful blog giveaway winners....yes, entered many, but sadly my name jumps away from random number generators or out of the bowl!!!

But I hope you'll have fun trying!!!!

School Chaplain

In the 52MMMC, mentioned here and here, I had down as item no 7:- Get a part-time job – after being out of the work-force for 7 years.

I applied for a position as a School Chaplain, in a District High School, in a nearby town. I went through the stages of the Vocational Assessment, the interview process which involved two stages. The second stage held yesterday, with a panel of four at the actual school. In the afternoon I had a phone call, offering me the position as the school chaplain.

Yes, I was successful and thank the Lord for it all. It was a situation that arose completely “out of the blue.” Honestly, not a position I’d ever thought of doing, let alone applying for. So through the whole process I was praying about it and leaving it in the Lord’s hands, as to what He’d have me do. If it’s what He wanted then it would happen. I commence in term 4 - October.

What does a school chaplain do?

Chaplains provide general personal pastoral care and spiritual advice, comfort and support to all students and staff, regardless of their religious denomination, irrespective of their religious beliefs.

However, I’ve yet to learn and walk the path of this position to see and understand fully what it will involve.

I’m a little nervous as it’s something very new. But again with the Lord’s guidance and help, I know things will unfold and I’ll find my place and abilities within this position.

Edit Note: I did this post about an hour ago....walked away and did a few things. Then had an "ah huh" moment!! I know what else I can use some of the denim for!!! I need to buy a good diary now - a day a page with time break-up's in it - so I can make a diary cover for it!!! Like Jenny did to her "brown expenses" book!!

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Icecream Container . . and . . Mug Pouch?!

I mentioned two posts ago about the Re-Invention challenge by Jenny of ELEFANTZ. I can now show you what I did with the icecream container.

A few years back I saw the pattern for a mug pouch, by Christine Book, in the Australian HOMESPUN magazine No. 38 (Vol. 7 No.4). I wanted to make one then, but never did. Recently our patchwork group decided, as it’s growing “too big”!!! and to make it easier on the hostess, where we meet once a month, it was suggested to bring our own mug along. I knew exactly what I wanted to make, to take along my mug with.

I also made a couple of others for friends in the group also. So I’m using the last one I made, as the model for the process of making it and how the icecream container came in useful. I tried something new – colouring in with pencils the stitchery, painting over it with Textile Medium and iron setting it.

1. The pouch is made in two pieces, like mini quilts. With some embroidered pockets. One goes on the back for a teaspoon, and the teabags plus sugar.

2. It’s folded in a certain way, which makes sense soon…!!!

3. Embroidery completed, which I did as Crazy Quilting, as my friend loves CQ! Also a piece of icecream container. What’s if for? It will sit in the bottom of the pouch to hold the base out. I used it because I didn’t have any template plastic like the instructions suggested.

4. The pockets have been sewn on the front and the back, and now the two pieces are hand sewn together, to form the pouch.

5. The completed pouch!!!

6. Here are the three I made. The rose one is mine.

7. The back of my pouch, showing what the "spoon" pocket looks like.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Gorgeous giveaway

Gerry at olderrose is having a gorgeous giveaway.

Here are the details:

PRIZE # 1.... One of Gerry's "Rise Above it All" pincushions.... This one is blue velvet and lavishly embellished with a vintage brooch and beads, jewels and trims....... plus a tiny locket... It is 8" tall with a weighted silver base. It will never get lost in your stash.

PRIZE #2..... Keeping with the blue theme, a trio of bluebirds hand-painted by Gerry... Since these are antique mother-of-pearl buttons they are especially luminous and reflect every light source in the room..... thus are very difficult to photograph.. They are only 1" in diameter and have a metal shank in back... Although difficult to tell in the photo they are edged with gold...
Stunningly beautiful and I would love to win, sadly my name never gets a drawn in giveaways. But I will try!!!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Re-Invention Challenge

Jenny of ELEFANTZ has a Re-Invention challenge this month. I've continued to re-use a couple of denim jeans (which was Jenny's challenge a couple of months ago).....but I've also re-purposed an icecream container!!!

Firstly here is what is left of one pair of jeans!!!

In the previous post I've shown the bag I made from these jeans. I've since made a "remote control" pouch/pocket for my hubby as well!! I unpicked different seams to end up with workable pieces. For the control pouch, I retained both pockets intact, and added extra denim between each pocket to be the part that hung over the arm rest.

Secondly, here is what is left of the re-purposed icecream container!!!

I've made a "mug pouch" for myself and also for a couple of friends, which I'll blog about next time. However, it required some templastic, cut out to fit the bottom of the pouch, to hold the shape. I didn't have any, so I thought, I know what I can use....the sides of an icecream container....and it worked very well!!

I made a "masculine" cover for my hubby's new iPad, from the other pair of jeans, shown in the previous post. Well "masculine" now meets "feminie"!!! A Kindle cover for me!!!

A gorgeous pattern from Moda's Bake shop...the...Bookkeeper Cover.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Re-cycled Denim Jean projects

More projects for Item 2, on my 52MMMC list – using re-cycled jeans.

I made a “masculine” cover, using left over denim from the first pair I’d been cutting up, for my husbands new iPad. These jeans had top stitching already done in medium brown thread, so I continued that theme, top stitching where I could. I had some old plain brown fabric that matched well, to use as the lining and binding. I finished off by top stitching the brown binding in dark blue thread.

A great find in a second-hand shop some weeks back were jeans going at a $1 each. I picked out a pair where the denim was still a very nice dark colour. It also had a light blue cording set into the side seams. I made another bag this time working out the pattern as I went, with knowledge gained from the Make-A-Bag-Sew-Along.

I didn’t want to undo the seams where the blue cording was so that was left complete and I then sewed in a centre panel of fabric. This fabric is a Windham Fabric line “Sally Rose” ca. 1845-1865.

To make the bag base for making the box shape and to have enough denim, I had to sew a couple of pieces together, then set this in a bit as the “jean leg” panel flared out a bit as it went down to the base of the bag.

I wanted to be able to close my bag with a zip, and spent hours trying to figure it out thinking of the toiletry pouch and gathered clutch I’d previously made. But I had help from a fellow scquilter (Southern Cross Quilter's yahoo group) who pointed me in the direction of “how to insert a concealed top edge bag zipper”.

So I was able to accomplish this. Although in the tutorial she took the zip apart, I didn’t do that, just carefully made and sewed the fabric casing each side of the zip and achieved the same result.

I made denim straps using what long length I could cut from the left over jeans, which were 20 inches x 3 ¼ inches. I folded the denim in half and pressed in a ¼ seam down each length and top stitched these seams together, then a line of top stitching on the fold, to have a nice finish.

I cut the selvedge off with the fabric name on it and made a loop that I caught up in the lining seams to attach keys too.

I have really enjoyed these projects, loving the look and feel of the denim.

Make A Bag Sew Along - finished

Item 3 on my 52MMMC list – is now completely complete!! I made the last two items for this set in the Make-A-Bag-Sew-Along, which were the sun-glasses case plus the bits-and-pieces pouch.

The complete set is made up of the tote, toiletries pouch, mini make-up roll, sun-glasses case and bits-and-pieces pouch.

* - * - * - * - *

The Biscornu in my previous post – I had some one ask, “what is a biscornu?” This link gives the definition and how to make one.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

52MMMC - Part 2

Two posts ago I mentioned this challenge.

I’ve made a few more slow-cooker dishes, back on July 7th. So here are some photo’s to tempt you!!

A Moroccan Beef with Kumara and Sultana’s. It had a cinnamon stick cooking in it also, which you can see on the top.

Plus for dessert Chocolate self-saucing pudding.

Three weeks ago I had family over for Sunday lunch. I prepared some of the meal on Saturday, but on Sunday had the dessert cooking in the slow-cooker, while we were all at church. The dessert was Blackberry cobbler….all very yummy, once again!!!

+ - + - + - + - +

While away a couple of weeks ago with my daughter, I visited Janine Smith's shop Colour Down Under. She has a cross-stitch class for newbies, and anyone else that wants to join in, on Wednesday mornings. I took a friends two eldest daughter’s along, while my daughter stayed with my friend and her other girls.

The group are working on a biscornu. A free pattern, Traditional Bulgarian Motif, which is quite simple and lovely in all sorts of colourways. Here is my version of it.

12. Make a biscornu. Completed July 26th.

13. Learning tatting.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Raggedy & Friends BOM

Kaaren is offering a gorgeous "Raggedy & Friends BOM". A free BOM for 10 months.
Along with making this I can see I need to make a "Raggedy Anne" and a "Raggedy Andy" to sit together with the quilt.
So for the 52MMMC - that makes number 11. on the list - Two Raggedy Dolls.

Monday, July 5, 2010

52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge

What am I to do when I see Jenny of ELFANTZ with an interesting challenge last month of making something by re-cycling some used denim jeans? I was given a pair by a visiting missionary family, who were passing through here on deputation, to leave at a second-hand shop (it had gotten some paint on them). So I decided I would use them some how…………..

Then I saw the “Make a Bag sew along” that Kelly's blog had, which I’ve already blogged about. So I decided I would do this fun project………………..

Then a couple of days ago, I saw this challenge, the 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge . The idea is to make, learn or do 52 things in a year. I got thinking about some things I would like to do. So I decided I would have a go with this challenge……………

See where I’m heading too? So many things to make and do, and not getting back to my basket blocks, which I blogged about here, and no further sewing on my Dear Jane triangles!!!!

Anyway some things I’d like to achieve with the 52 Marvellous Makes Madness Challenge in a year.

1. Use my Slow Cooker or Crockpot more – found a couple of cook books in town. 5-Ingredients Slow Cooker Recipes by Jean ParĂ© (Company’s Coming Kitchen Workbooks), at the local Post Office and the Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker recipe book, at Coles.

Have had fun cooking the following since July 1st:-
Homestyle Beef Stew (recipe from the internet)
Italian Beef Casserole (recipe from Women’s Weekly Slow Cooker)
Pineapple Cherry Cobbler (recipe from 5-Ingredients Slow Cooker Recipes)

All yummy, might I add!!!

2. Re-cycled denim jean items – Made a Japanese Knot bag from Helen Heath's Blog, that I’ve wanted to make for a while, and the Gathered Clutch. DONE July 4th and 5th

3. Make a Bag Sew Along – 3 accessories made – the tote, toiletries pouch and mini make-up roll.

4. Practice machine quilting – I made a table runner last year, using some cupcake fabrics I bought. I made it all, even sandwiched it, but stalled at the quilting. I had intended to machine quilt it all along, but was too scared to start or try… today, I thought “That’s it! I’m doing it no matter what!!” I want it finished and on the table I designed it to be used for. STARTED quilting July 5th

5. More Crazy Quilting (CQ) blocks and projects

6. Learn Ribbon Embroidery to use in CQ

7. Get a part-time job – after being out of the work-force for 7 years.

8. Complete the Dear Jane Triangles

9. Get up-to-date with the Basket blocks

10. Finish crocheting an Irish Rose lap blanket

I have a year to think of others things I want to make, learn or do for the 52 Marvellous Makes Madness in a year challenge, however, I’ve made or started 9 items in the last few days.